Knitwear manufacturers have asked 42 months time, up from the 18 months allocated by the government, to clear the Rs 7,500 crore stimulus loan installments granted to them in 2020 to pay workers’ salaries and bonuses.
Salim Usman, President of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, made the call on 4 January via a letter to Fazl Kabir, Governor of the Bank of Bangladesh.
For the latest news, follow The Daily Star’s Google News channel.
Osman said that manufacturers of knitwear are facing a crisis in shipping goods due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In many cases, he said, exporters are also getting late payments from global retailers and brands.
The BKMEA also demanded that the central bank extend the limit of the Export Development Fund (EDF) to $30 million for each member of the association.
In the letter, Osman said that if necessary, BKMEA members should be allowed to receive more than $30 million from the EDF.
He pointed out the necessity of raising the total allocations of the Economic Development Fund to $5 billion so that exporters can borrow money from this fund at low interest rates.
Moreover, the repayment period for loans borrowed from the Economic Development Fund should also be extended until December 31 this year.
He said that during the peak hours of Covid-19, the majority of domestic exporters continued their business until they incurred losses as international retailers and brands paid less and were in arrears.
Fazli Shamim Ehsan, vice president of BKMEA, said they sought 42 months of time because they wanted to liquidate a third of each loan installment in one month.